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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 17, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the u.s. government is telling us that four americans have been freed, one of them injured after an airborne military assault on terrorists in algeria. the americans were taken hostage yesterday, along with dozens of others, at a plant in a remote oil and gas field near the libyan border. a group that claims to be affiliated with al qaeda seized the plant. they said it was in retaliation for the french military attacks on islamic extremists in nearby mali. the situation is not entirely clear. we do not have definitive information on the number of hostages or casualties. algerian authorities say tonight a number of hostages and terrorists have been killed. traveling in london, defense secretary leon panetta said either seven or eight americans were taken in the terrorist attack. mark phillips picks up the story. >> reporter: early today, what had been a hostage-taking
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standoff at a massive natural gas plant in the algerian desert turned violent and bloody. algerian troops had surrounded the plant after a number of foreign workers-- some reports say more than 40-- were taken hostage by an islamic group calling itself the mass brigade, and claiming ties to al qaeda. security sources told us that, when the prisoners were moved within the compound, algerian gunships opened fire. one irish hostage, steven mcfaul, recounted the ordeal to an arabic tv channel as it was happening. >> reporter: steven mcfaul's family were celebrating tonight. he, along with an unknown number of other hostages, managed to escape. his son, dillon, was overjoyed. >> i feel over the moon. i'm just really excited. i just can't wait for him to get home.
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>> reporter: at least one american, mark cobb, who had been hiding in a meeting room, is known to have gotten out of the gas plant as well. the algerians say their operation is now over. early reports, unconfirmed, say as many as 30 humans, algerians as many as 30 hostages algerians and foreigners, may have been killed, and families in at least nine countries including the united states, are waiting to learn who lived and who died. >> pelley: mark, there's a lot of hostage taking in this region for ransom. is there any indication whether that's what this is, banditry, or whether it actually is terrorism. >> reporter: well, the mass brigade and other groups are known to be operating in that area for some time, and they have a history of hostage-taking and ransom demands and smuggling to fund their activities. but with the french intervention underway in mali next door, this incident may be too close, both in time and distance, to be a coincidence. >> pelley: mark, thanks very much. the last time americans were
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killed by terrorists was also in north africa last september. four died, including the u.s. ambassador, in the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi libya. now, u.s. forces are about to go to the aid of the french in mali, and david martin has the late-breaking developments. >> reporter: the u.s. has agreed to airlift a battalion of french troops and tanks into mali, part of a military intervention which has stirred up a hornet's nest of al qaeda-linked groups in north africa. according to u.s. intelligence these groups are likely to strike western targets again. rudolph attallah is the pentagon's former head of counter-terrorism for africa. do you expect more terrorist attacks? >> yes. these guys are savvy. they are... they've been prepared for a fight, like i said, for a long time, and they're not going to take it lying down. they are going to... they are going to show that they are capable of... of putting some pain against the west.
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>> reporter: the attack on the gas complex in algeria was carried out by a group whose leader had warned france against intervening in mali. other leaders operating under the umbrella of a grouped call al qaeda in the magreb have dared the u.s. to intervene. >> one of the islamists was taunting the united states essentially saying, "we want the united states to be involved in this fight, like the french." it's like, more like, "bring it. we're ready for you. we're prepared to go after you." >> reporter: with u.s. backing, the french launched air strikes and began sending in troops last week when it appeared radical islamic groups, which already controlled the northern half of mali, were on the verge of breaking through government defenses across the narrow waist of the country, and advancing on the capital. france's defense minister said the operation was designed to prevent mali from becoming a terrorist state within range of europe. even if france succeeds in stopping the advance, radical islamic groups will still control northern mali, an area
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the size of france itself. defense secretary panetta has said there are no plans to put u.s. troops into mali, but that could change if terrorists there start killing americans. >> pelley: david, thank you. in our new poll out tonight, an overwhelming number of americans approve of the president's call for universal background checks for gun buyers. the cbs news/"new york times" poll shows that background checks on all potential gun buyers are favored by 92%. a ban on high-capacity magazines is favored by 63%. a national ban on semiautomatic weapons is favored by a slim majority of 53%. that's interesting, because our research department found that 65% of all of the guns sold in america are semiautomatics. we asked, also, whether the gun laws should be more strict. 54% said yes, 9% said less
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strict, and 34% think the laws should remain the same. when we asked the public's opinion of the national rifle association, the response broke down in nearly thirds: 38% have a favorable opinion. the movie theater where one of the worst gun massacres took place reopens tonight, with a private ceremony for victims and their families. last july, a gunman killed 12 and injured 70 in aurora colorado, using the same kind of weapon and ammunition magazine the president wants to ban. we wondered what folks in colorado are saying about the gun debate, and so we sent ana werner to find out. >> reporter: jean assam knows about gun violence. >> the whole hallway was filled with this sense of evil, and it was very intimidating. it would intimidate anybody. >> reporter: in 2007, assam, a trained police officer, was volunteering as a security officer inside this colorado springs church when a man with a semi-automatic rifle murdered
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two people. assam stopped the rampage when she shot the attacker with a concealed gun she carried on her hip. >> i knew what to do and i had the confidence, you know, i had the training. i was armed and i was present. >> freedom! >> reporter: like many in colorado, she's conflicted when it comes to stricter gun laws. >> i see very clearly both sides of this debate. i see where they're coming from, and both of their views make sense to me. >> reporter: this is a state that suffered two mass shootings-- columbine and aurora-- but many who live here are hunters, including governor john hickenlooper. >> we are a fully split state. we're almost exactly one-third democrat, one-third republican one-third independent. and there are strong points of resistance to going... you know, if you're going to try and do a ban or really serious restrictions on people's access to firearms. it's colorado, it's the west.
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and we are a diverse community within the west. >> reporter: there is no waiting period for gun purchases in colorado, and anyone over 21 can apply for a concealed weapons permit. hickenlooper supports expanding background checks in colorado to private gun sales, but has doubts about a proposed state ban of high-capacity ammunition magazines. >> of course, the devil's in the details. is that ten rounds or 30 rounds? and that's where the... that's where the robust discussion is going to come in. >> reporter: well, the shooting here in aurora has prompted the governor, scott, to propose an overhaul of the state's mental health system, an area he says has been neglected here in colorado. >> pelley: anna, thank you. yesterday, the president ordered the centers for disease control to begin research on the causes of gun violence. that was something that congress specifically prevented the c.d.c. from doing. mark strassman has more on that. >> there is absolutely no
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question-- these are preventable deaths. >> reporter: dr. mark rosenberg used to oversee research into gun violence prevention at the centers for disease control. in 1996, the nra successfully lobbied congress to put this restriction into the cdc's budget: "none of the funds made available may be used to advocate or promote gun control." >> these were shots fired across the bow, and they terrorized the people at cdc. they terrorized researchers who said, "whoa! this is scary. i don't want my funding jeopardized." >> reporter: the nra was infuriated with a 1993 study sponsored by the cdc that concluded having a gun at home offered little protection but increased almost three-fold the risk of one family member shooting another. cdc funding into gun violence research has been plummeted 96% since 1996 to just $100,000 of last year's $5.6 billion cdc
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budget. is gun violence a legitimate public health issue? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: bob barr, a former georgia congressman, sits on the board of the nra. >> the issue of firearm violence is handled and ought to be handled as a law enforcement matter. we don't need the government involved in this. it is all about the big "c"-- "control." >> reporter: scott, the next step is up to congress whether to approve president obama's request for $10 million to study this issue of gun violence. >> pelley: thank you, mark. chicago has been plagued by gun violence, and now the mayor there, rahm emanuel, is putting financial pressure on gun makers. he talked to dean reynolds today. >> i've asked all our pensions city pensions, to review all their investments and make sure we have no investments in any gun manufacturers for assault weapons. >> reporter: and sellers? >> yes, but going specifically at the manufacturers, and then
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divest those funds if they do. i'll be also speaking this weekend to the conference of mayors, and asking other mayors to step up and do what the city of chicago is doing as it relates to their pension funds as well. everybody saw the pictures at newtown, and i think we're at a point that we're now mobilized as a country to actually not take the status quo anymore. >> pelley: and just yesterday, a 17-year-old boy was shot to death outside a gym at chicago state university after a basketball game. that is 22 homicides in chicago already this month. there were more than 500 all of last year. a heartbreaking story turns out to be false. who exposed the manti te'o hoax? the government has done something it hasn't done in three decades to fix the problems with the 787. and there's something different about the first lady. we'll show you when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: you'd be hard pressed to find a college football player who had a better reputation than manti te'o, the linebacker for notre dame who came in second for the heisman trophy. he came in second for the heisman and played great football while overcoming a personal tragedy, or so we thought. we asked dean reynolds to sort fact from fiction. >> ...has not had a great gentleman. >> reporter: critics said the notre dame all-american played
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for the national championship as if he had something other than football on his mind. and maybe he did. >> unable to wrap him up and bring down. >> reporter: manti te'o had been riding a wave of sympathy and celebrity all season long due to the melodramatic tale of his college girlfriend from stanford. te'o described her as a victim of not only a car accident but also leukemia, who supposedly died last september, ending a long distance mostly online romance with the linebacker. in october, he lovingly recalled her on espn. >> the most beautiful girl i've ever met, not because of her physical beauty but the beauty of her... of her character. >> reporter: but it turns out the girl, named lennay kekua never existed, as jack dickey, a writer for the sports blog deadspin, discovered. >> well, okay, 22-year-old stanford grad gets in a near- fatal car accident, contracts leukemia and then dies. that's a big tragedy. that's going to be written up somewhere. it wasn't. there was no death notice, no
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obituary, no announcement of her funeral. >> reporter: on december 6, te'o allegedly learned in a phone call from somebody that his girlfriend was a concoction with a fake twitter account. he didn't alert notre dame to what he called a hoax for 20 more days, and the university didn't go public until deadspin published its story on wednesday. but by remaining silent, notre dame left unchallenged numerous reports about te'o's supposedly tragic love story in the run-up to the b.c.s. championship game on january 7. athletic director jack swarbrick acknowledged the school did not encourage te'o to set the record straight before the game preferring that he stay focused on the contest. >> this was a very elaborate very sophisticated hoax, perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand, but had a certain cruelty at its core. >> reporter: on wednesday night,
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te'o released a statement calling the episode incredibly embarrassing, a painful and humiliating sick joke. but on at least two occasions, after he says he learned of the hoax, manti te'o spoke with reporters about his girlfriend and said she had died from leukemia. scott, it's all still very confusing. >> pelley: dean reynolds in south bend, indiana. dean, thanks very much. tonight, all of boeing's new 787 dreamliners are grounded. airlines and governments all over the world made the call following the lead of the united states. batteries on the 787s have caught fire twice in two weeks. the planes won't fly again until boeing can prove that they're safe. the housing recovery is gaining altitude. who is shelling out big bucks for houses, next. w>c
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and save on refills at i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer as >> pelley: there are more signs that the housing market is picking up. the government reported today that construction was up more than 12% last month, and ben tracy in los angeles tells us jumbo mortgages are making a comeback. >> we were thrilled. we found what we felt was our dream home. >> reporter: eric and dorothy pincus moved in two weeks ago. >> put this over here. >> reporter: this three-bedroom house in los angeles cost them $900,000. they took out a loan for about $700,000. >> it was certainly more complicated than i anticipated. >> reporter: and that sounds like a nice way of saying it. >> it was brutal. it was painful.
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there were a lot of times we thought it might not happen. >> reporter: the pincuses needed a jumbo loan. they're common in expensive markets such as los angeles, chicago, and new york. jumbo loans usually make up 25% of all new mortgages, but they fell to 4.3% after the housing bubble burst. they've climbed back to 11.3% last year. that's spurred sales of homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million. they're up 52% in the past year. >> the banks put you through a thousand different hoops before they finally say, "hey, here's your money." >> reporter: mortgage broker steve maizes says lenders require at least 20% down and a credit score above 700 to get a jumbo loan. >> two years ago, the banks were just saying, "no, i'm not going to give you a loan, even if you're bill gates." now, if you're a decent hardworking person with income such as the pincuses, we're going to get you the loan, but
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they're not going to make it easy for you. >> we did it. yay! >> reporter: the pincuses say it was worth the pain. they plan to live here the next 30 years. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: in america's most famous house, first ladies can be trendsetters, so when the white house put out this photograph of michelle obama today, her 49th birthday, her new haircut caught our eye. the word is out-- bangs are in. it was a national catch phrase-- "got a problem? write dear abby." millions did and we'll remember next. or best-ever meatloaf. go to for recipes, plus a valuable coupon. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. ♪ ♪ i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased
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hometown honors he received before becoming a star quarterback. next on cbs 5 weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take special the letter read, "dear abby: my boyfriend's going to be 20. i'd like to give him something nice for his birthday. what do you think he would like? signed, carol." abby replied, "dear carol: nevermind what he would like. get him a tie." abby, the legendary advice columnist born pauline friedman, has died after complications from alzheimer's disease. she was 94. jim axelrod has her story. >> now, here i have this electric letter opener. >> reporter: profiled by ed murrow in 1958, "dear abby" started two years earlier when she called the editor of the "san francisco chronicle" and told him she could do better than what she had just read.
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her advice ran in 1400 papers worldwide with more than 110 million daily readers. >> the business of living from one day to the next is just one problem after another. most people just want someone to listen to them. >> reporter: she was often confused with her twin sister, who wrote her own column under the name anne landers. the rivalry drove them apart as young adults, although they grew close again in later life, perhaps following their own advice. >> knowing the right thing to do is instinctive. all we need is someone to give us a push in the right direction. >> reporter: every letter sent with a self-addressed stamped envelope received a reply. >> now, here's a letter from a man who wrote me in care of the "milwaukee sentinel." his wife doesn't understand him but his bookkeeper does. >> reporter: she continued looking at hundreds of letters a day into her 70s, eventually sharing the writing of the column with her daughter. >> what do you consider a good formula for life? >> giving, i think, is the keyword to real happiness because, ed, if you aren't giving, you aren't living.
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>> reporter: tonight, her friends and family are remembering dear abby with a favorite piece of her advice. fear less, hope more. eat less, chew more. talk less, say more. hate less, love more. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm grace lee in for elizabeth cook. there is a seismic shift happening in california. >> and it has nothing to do with an earthquake. cbs 5 reporter len ramirez shows us the face of california is literally changing. len. >> reporter: that's right, allen. california has always been very attractive to immigrants from all over the world but as you
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mentioned the face of the newest immigrants are changing. california has always been diverse. but now the melting pot is taking on a more asian flavor a lot more. according to the u.s. census, asians have replaced latinos as the biggest group of immigrants in california. >> it's a trend in silicon valley. >> reporter: the san jose vice mayor says you can see the changes everywhere you look. once the only asian-american on the san jose city council, she is now one of three. >> we're seeing this huge shift among asian-american immigrants but again i'm not surprised given the fact that here in silicon valley especially in the city of san jose, we have seen the shift in the last decade or so. >> reporter: the numbers show it's a big change. asian immigration is well over two times that of latinos according to the latest census data from 2011. mexican immigration to the united states legal and illegal has fallen sharply after decades of surging growth much to do with border enforcement, jobs and the california economy. since 2007 there's been less of
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a need for unskilled labor and a greater demand for workers with degrees. immigrants from asia especially india tend to be more highly educated. >> we see the united states of america as a gold mountain where we have endless opportunities to achieve. >> reporter: case in point, victor lu. he cam to the united states as a refugee from vee -- he came to the united states as a refugee from vietnam and went into the supply business years ago. his store is now one of the largest most successful in the south bay. >> my parents both came about 33 years ago with nothing, no english. very limited english still today but they decided to start a business and, you know, it flourished and with everybody's support it is what it is today. >> reporter: san jose especially continues to have a lot of immigrants from vietnam but overall the greatest --


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